The "polar vortex" is bringing freezing temperatures to some parts of the U.S. Midwest.
California and the west coast will not be chilled by the weather pattern. The polar vortex is an area of swirling cold air that exists mostly in polar regions. Sometimes a part of it drifts south, bringing frigid Arctic air with it.
Sacramento National Weather Service meteorologist Jim Matthews said the polar vortex doesn't bring colder-than-normal air to this region. But he said it does block weather systems from reaching California.
"You've heard about strong ridging over the west coast last year and that's continuing into this year and that's what we currently have,” said Matthews. “And this system that we've had today generally weakened as it bumped into this strong ridge over our area."
He said the Sacramento area will dry out this weekend.
-Ed Joyce / Capital Public Radio
8 A.M. Rain dampened the Sacramento region's Thursday morning commute and more scattered showers is expected throughout the day.
The wet weather started overnight and the National Weather Service in Sacramento says many areas received .1 and .5 inches of rain.
A weak cold front is moving quickly through Northern California, dousing the Sacramento Valley before moving east into the Sierra, says the NWS.
Several accidents were reported throughout the region's freeways. One big rig crash prompted a Sigalert on north Interstate 5 at J Street.
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